An ethnographic study of a comprehensive school
Burgess, Robert G. (1981) An ethnographic study of a comprehensive school. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1754347~S15
This thesis is an ethnographic study of a purpose built,
co-educational Roman Catholic comprehensive school that
was conducted between April 1973 and July 1974, when the
researcher took a part-time teacher role in the school.
The main methods of social investigation were: participant
observation, unstructured interviews and documentary
evidence. The study examines the operation of the school
from a teacher's point of view. Special attention is
given to the ways in which teachers and pupils define and
redefine situations within the school. An opening chapter
surveys the problems, theories and methods that were used
in the study.
Part one locates the school in a social context and
examines the extent to which its physical division into
Houses and Departments influenced the Headmaster's
conception of the school and the definitions and
redefinitions of the situation that were advanced by Heads
of Houses and Departmental staff. There are chapters on
the Headmaster's conception of the school, House staff
and Department staff, and an analysis of the social
processes involved in three social situations. Similar
themes are examined in part two in relation to Newsom
pupils and their teachers. There are chapters on Newsom
pupils and Newsom teachers and the definitions,
redefinitions and strategies that were used in classrooms
by teachers and pupils.
The thesis concludes that the physical division of
the school into Houses and Departments influenced staff
recruitment, school organization and the ways in which
teachers and pupils defined and redefined their activities.
The evidence in this study suggests that although
different pupils were brought together in a comprehensive
school on a single site, it is doubtful whether one
school was in operation as the label 'comprehensive'
appeared to cover a diverse set of activities. An
appendix examines the problems of conducting ethnographic
research in a comprehensive school.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe)|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Bishop McGregor Comprehensive School (West Sussex, England), Comprehensive high schools -- Great Britain, Catholic high schools -- Great Britain|
|Official Date:||September 1981|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Sociology|
|Sponsors:||Social Science Research Council (Great Britain)|
|Extent:||xii, 581 leaves|
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